Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 09:06:20 +1000
From: pmg <>
Subject: Re: Follow up on "A very annoying problem"

Thanks guys, all good advice. Craig...yes there is certainly a small pool of oil resting inside the lip of the metal body of the distributor when I take the cap off. Maybe the seal needs replacing. It was night time when I finally had the car fault whilst I was driving it so it was hard to tell what the "moist feel" was inside the cap, mixed with the sooty material (I agree with Charles that this is probably the carbon brush). I guess the oil could be affecting the spark, but then why does it always happen a few minutes after starting on a damp day! My service guy has suggested some work on the distributor....points, cap, rotor, etc. But suggests I have a few more "incidents" first and see if cleaning the cap fixes it evrey time to get a better diagnosis. I've given my daughter good instructions on how to do it Craig, regarding how it "dies". It first loses power, splutters and you are forced to pull over. It then idles but splutters when you throttle it. Then often it stalls. The starter motor turns the engine over well and all dashboard lights are normal. Sometimes it will restart and continue to run rough, sometimes it won't restart. Leave it for 20-60 minutes and it starts again and runs normally. Pete Charles C. wrote: > pmg wrote: > >> Hi guys >> Remember my post on the 1984 900 that intemittently (every few days to >> few weeks) stops on me in damp/cold weather usually 5-10 minutes after >> starting, never when totally warmed up? My servicing mechanic has >> tried all sorts of stuff but can't pin it down because it has never >> faulted in his hands. Last thing tried was an "ignition module" but it >> still happened. This time I was driving (my daughter's car). It felt >> "electrical". I took the distributer cap off and it seemed to have a >> lot of condensation mixed with fine sooty material. I lightly sprayed >> WD40 in the cap and the car started and drove perfectly, not faulting >> since (fingers crossed). At home I completely cleaned out the cap and >> rotor. >> It is possible this has been the problem? My question here is why the >> condensation might suddenly be building up (if that's relevant) and >> why/what is the sooty material. It is a conventional distributer >> (points type). Should I replace the cap? What about the plastic dust >> seal that sits below the rotor? >> Pete > > > Hi Pete > > The distributor cap has a piece of carbon (with a spring behind it) > which presses onto the distributor arm. The carbon brush wears and you > get the sooty material. > > You said (in your previous message) you replaced the plug leads you > should replace the cap and the rotor arm. Whilst you are at it, when > were the conventional points replaced. I seem to remember me replacing > them (the points) every couple of years. For the work that was involved > it was not worth reseting the old ones ... which always got pitted and > thus could not be set accurately. > > I think you should replace all 3 components. They are cheap enough. > > Regards > Charles >

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